There has also been food.
I cannot quite describe the food.
If you told me that the best thing I would ever eat in my entire life would involve beets, I would have called you crazy. However, I have now had golden beets sliced paper thin, with goat cheese stuffed between them, fried in truffle oil and drizzled with pomegranate molasses. This is quite simply the best thing I have ever eaten, bar none, including the time I took LSD in college and ate a hot fudge sundae and the time I took LSD in college and found a tin of lemon tea cookies somewhere around hour six, the previous record-holders, and my step-father's home-made ice cream with fresh picked raspberries, the runner-up.
There has also been a lot of crawfish in various incarnations, beignets and coffee, beignets and more coffee, no more beignets but even more coffee, with the end result that I now have to pee every five minutes and resemble a small tattooed water buffalo.
Also, a scary woman on the street insisted on telling me all about how she was showing her tits to people. I was afraid she might demonstrate--she was clearly not wearing a bra, for easy access--but she staggered off instead when it became clear that I had no beads but only polite befuddlement. (Kevin found this all very amusing.)
The French Quarter is very cool-looking. Very Bohemian. Very tourist-y, of course, sort of like Disneyland with live sex shows and art galleries, but there are bits of it where locals are obviously living. I felt much better once I saw a grocery store. That made it feel more like an ecosystem and less like a really weird theme park. The buildings are amazing. I would describe them if I were not drunk. (I don't know, something with guavas. It came in a thing shaped like a tiki. No, I can't feel my lips. I'm not the one on trial here!)
Kevin has been spending the days I'm in workshop wandering the French Quarter, drinking coffee in little cafes, and generally watching the world go by. He says this is wonderfully decadent. (I think it's a Lutheran thing.) People keep mistaking him for a local and demanding to know where things are. (I am realizing that Kevin is at home pretty much anywhere, whereas I am a tourist in my own backyard. I was excited to go to Sanford, for god's sake. Not that that's a bad thing, really, but y'know. Ask Kevin about me and the Buddhist monk at the bird show sometime...)
And I have been making assemblage art. I had planned to do something more interestingly junky and rusty but what with one thing and another, I wound up sculpting a bunch of little skulls on it and the end result is so damn goth/metal/whatever that I kinda want to put my Slayer tapes in it, except that I haven't actually had a Slayer tape since my old boombox ate "South of Heaven." It looks pretty neat, though--well, it looks like I know what I'm doing, which is always awesome, since I generally don't--and I am very glad I took the class, because the box aside, I have sort-of overcome my fear of the Dremel and have learned many useful things. I need a vise and some goggles. And a caulk gun. Mmm...caulk.... Michael DeMeng is a really nice guy, good teacher, very friendly, very generous with his techniques. Would definitely recommend his classes.
Did I mention the food?
Also, I saw an original Michael Parkes painting. It had been painted specifically for that show, isn't in any of the print collections, and it was amazing to actually see one up close and personal. The gallery owner was thrilled to death to have it and was very excited to talk about it--and rightly so, since I don't think God owns an original Parkes. It looked to be ink and maybe a little colored pencil on vellum. There's something about seeing originals as opposed to reproductions in books...whew.
The food is also spectacular.